Beauty seems to be less important than fluidity and speed. [Vanderbilt University professor Steve] Graham's work, and others', has shown that from kindergarten through fourth grade, kids think and write at the same time. (Only later is mental composition divorced from the physical process of handwriting.)...."Measures of speed among elementary-school students are good predictors of the quality and quantity of their writing in middle school," says Stephen Peverly, a professor of psychology and education at Columbia University's Teachers College. "I don't care about legibility."
My handwriting may be utterly illegible, but it is fast, and I do write a lot.
I had a Spanish teacher in high school who was really fed up with not being able to read my work. One time, she scrawled a comment on one of my assignments that I couldn't read, and then wrote "OKAYYYY!?!?" next to it in big block letters. Needless to say, I panicked, having no idea what set her off. When I asked her about it, she just said "now you know how it feels!"
Nonetheless, I'm claiming the ultimate victory here. Via Kevin Drum, who holds his pen the same way I do.